Author: Ally Blue
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 380 Pages
At a Glance: Not for the faint of heart but a thoroughly enjoyable novel, with horror, suspense, and the deep.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: Seven thousand meters below the ocean’s surface, the crew of the BathyTech 3 mineral mining facility has found something remarkable: a rock-like sphere of unknown material and origin.
For Mo Rees, the discovery calls to his inner explorer and adds color to his dull miner’s life. Even better than the promise of new knowledge is the unexpected connection he forges with Dr. Armin Savage-Hall, leader of the team brought down to study the thing.
For Armin, the object is the find of a lifetime. It could prove his controversial theories and secure his scientific reputation. And Mo is a fascinating bonus.
Then crew members start behaving strangely. Worse, they start to change: their eyes glow purple, their teeth sharpen. Then the violence begins, the brutal deaths. As BathyTech descends deeper into chaos, the surviving crew works desperately to find the cause of the horrors around them. What they uncover could annihilate the human race. And they can’t stop it.
Review: Ally Blue is one of my favorite authors, so when I saw that she was releasing a horror novel, I was thrilled. Until I found out where it takes place.
The bottom of the ocean.
So therein lies my dilemma. I love Ally Blue so much I purchase her ebooks, read them, love them, and then as soon as that book is available in paperback, I buy the paperback. I own every single book she has written in ebook, and every one that has been released as a paperback sits on the top shelf of one of my bookcases. She writes romance and horror very well. I was a huge fan of her book Oleander House when I discovered it, and devoured the entire Bay City Paranormal Investigations series and its spinoffs. She builds creepy creatures and worlds, and I just love it.
But I’m terrified of deep water. And that’s where this book takes place. In the deepest waters you can find on our planet. I took a chance, and while I was scared out of my wits reading half of her descriptions, I enjoyed every moment of the story.
The novel is set in the fairly near future. Things have happened to the earth, and while some of it is mentioned, not all the details are given. We do know that there have been disasters and power outages that caused chaos around the world. There’s also technology that allows miners to mine the ocean floor, walking out into the crushing pressure seven thousand feet below sea level, and still live. Together the miners live side-by-side with scientists who study the surrounding area. When a mysterious object that simultaneously exists and does not exist is found, Mo and Armin are thrown into each other’s paths, and their fates are irrevocably entwined.
First and foremost, this book is a horror novel. So while yes, there is a romance between Mo and Armin, that is not the focus of the story. Most of the sex happens off page after a fade to black and time skips. There is only one explicit scene between them, and it’s much later in the book. So if that’s all you want out of a book, then this isn’t for you. But you’ll be missing out on a great novel.
I’m not the biggest fan of horror. I mean, there are some movies I like, but I haven’t always read horror novels. I just never got into them, as most do nothing for me. This one, however, terrified me because of the setting. Ally Blue portrays this incredibly complex world at the bottom of the ocean, and I couldn’t help but think of all the things that could go so horribly wrong down there. I mean…honestly. So much can, and there’s not much you can do about it.
The onset of the horror is pretty slow at first. The suspense builds as readers follow Mo and Armin as strange things start to occur. First there are the bizarre shadows. Then the little squiggles at the corner of Mo’s vision. Headaches. Irritability. Full out psychosis.
I wondered how the novel could possibly end well, given all that was happening, but Blue makes it work. I cried at the end—her books tend to make me emotional—but it was such a great ending. The last lines were perfect and really went with the characters. Mo and Armin grow throughout the novel in so many ways, but despite all those changes, they are at heart the same men from the beginning of the book.
The secondary characters in this novel are also fully developed. All of the doctors from Armin’s group to the crew of BathyTech3 have their own personalities that make them people I wish I knew. Even DAISY. I don’t know how Blue managed to make me like a TARANTULA but she did. I hate spiders. They are my second greatest fear after deep water, but somehow this author made me like her character—and yes, it’s possible for a spider to be a fully realized character. But I guess if any author was going to do it, it would be this one.
Whether you’re a fan of horror or not, I highly recommend you checking this book out. If I can manage to do it even with all of my fears, so can you! I just might have hid under the covers more than the typical person…and, maybe I got nervous every time a shadow twitched from the car lights outside, but whatever. I can always sleep next week or something.
You can buy Down here: